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The Daily Vertical: From Minsk to Munich -- Here We Go Again
A group of independent Kazakh filmmakers and activists have launched their own YouTube channel to showcase their work. Partyzan TV launched in the city of Almaty on February 11 with the uploading of the internationally-renowned film, The Owners. (RFE/RL's Kazakh Service)
Kabul's airport hosted Afghanistan's military airshow on February 11. President Ashraf Ghani joined high-ranking U.S. officers and other defense officials at the event which showcased the country's new light attack aircraft, the A-29 (RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan).
This Kazakh town’s road is all signs and no asphalt.
The settlement built for construction workers on a hydroelectric project in Kyrgyzstan is now a ghost town. The workers departed soon after the project was abandoned last month. But the locals are hoping the Russians will soon be back. (Zhibek Byegaliyevoy for RFE/RL's Current Time).
For these people seeking a new life in the European Union, this Belgrade bus shelter is home, for now at least. Classified as economic migrants, these men from countries in Africa and Asia have been stranded for months in Serbia, the last stop before the border of the EU. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday. Viewers can suggest topics via Twitter @PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page.
Each year dozens of children in Afghanistan are sold into slavery or even worse fates. Their families, usually very poor, hand them over to smugglers in exchange for the promise of cash.
The city of Moscow demolished dozens of trading stalls, kiosks, and cafes in a blitz of bulldozers on February 9. A city lawmaker estimated that the demolitions could cause 15,000 people to lose their jobs.
A Georgian NGO, Human Rights Center, has asked for government support for the preservation of places of worship of minority groups in the country's south, where a Muslim community and a tiny Jewish minority live. (RFE/RL's Georgian Service)
Tanks and army trucks were lined up on the highways of Simferopol on the Crimean Peninsula on February 9, a day after the start of large-scale Russian military exercises in the region. (RFE/RL's Crimean unit)
The city of Moscow demolished dozens of trading stalls, kiosks, and cafes in a blitz of bulldozers on February 9. Heavy equipment began tearing down about 100 buildings, which Moscow city authorities had deemed illegal.
Afghanistan's government is making an active effort to train female police officers, creating a more balanced force that can better serve Afghan women. What is life on the force like for these female recruits? (RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan)
A doctors' strike in Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar brought hospitals to a near standstill.
Doctors still were seeing patients who needed treatment -- but in tents outside the city's main hospital. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
As the seasons change, hundreds of thousands of nomads move with their families and livestock back and forth across Afghanistan's border with Pakistan. In an area already ravaged by war and poverty, the Kuchis are living the kind of hard life that much of the world has long forgotten.
In the Czech capital, Prague, volunteers cleaned up the day after the firebombing of a building where clothes and other help for refugees are gathered. The attack, by a group of around 20 masked men, followed a day of protests by far-right groups against Muslims and immigration.
There’s been an outpouring of sympathy for Ghani Baba, the man who carries 100 kilograms of flour 1 kilometer on his back every day in Peshawar, Pakistan. What’s being done to help Ghani Baba?
Forget Buckingham Palace and Big Ben -- London's newest bus tour shows visitors the palatial homes of Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs.
Residents of Bograd, a small town in southeastern Siberia, have lost their fight to save the local maternity ward, declared "unprofitable" by health authorities. Pregnant women from Bograd and surrounding villages will now have to travel up to 150 kilometers to give birth.
Ukrainian activists protested in front of the Embassy of the Netherlands in Kyiv with banners warning: "Don't listen to Russian propaganda." The protesters displayed a famous self-portrait of Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh with one bandaged ear, repurposing the image.
Syed Abdul Ghani treks a kilometer every day with 100 kilograms of flour on his back. He earns just 300 Pakistani rupees ($3) from selling the flour to a bakery in his native Peshawar. He's been making the trip every day for the past 25 years in order to provide for his family.
From the Silk Road to the center of Europe: Ancient works from Afghanistan's pre-Islamic past have gone on display in the Czech capital, Prague. A major archaeological dig near Kabul uncovered a significant trove of artifacts, and they are helping Europeans understand more of Afghanistan's past.
In an abandoned zoo in Gyumri, Armenia, forgotten animals wallow in despair. (RFE/RL's Armenian Service)
Across Central Asia, horsemen compete in a rugged game in which they grapple over a goat's carcass and try to drag it toward a goal. In Kyrgyzstan, the sport is known as kok-boru, and it's enjoying a nationwide revival. (RFE/RL's Current Time TV)
Lithuania is no longer at the mercy of Moscow, thanks to a liquefied natural gas terminal it has developed.
Rarely do Russians see or hear very much about Vladimir Putin's family life. Once in a while there will be revelations -- about his alleged great wealth, the activities of his children, and even his romantic life.
Tajik Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Aslov has said reporters from Kremlin-funded media outlet RT, formerly known as Russia Today, have not been given permission to operate in his country. RT has been trying to open a bureau in Dushanbe since 2014.
Belarusian human rights activist Ales Byalyatski has called on the European Union to maintain political pressure on Belarus's authoritarian regime.
In the Ukrainian village of Zaytseve, 11-year-old Edik has to cross military checkpoints and enter separatist territory just to go to school. It's a dangerous trip, so Edik and other schoolchildren have stopped going to class, and instead do their schoolwork at home.
Kyrgyz authorities began destroying license plates designated for members of parliament and other high-ranking government officials. Parliament decided to revoke special license plates for top officials because of cases of drivers abusing their privileges and violating traffic rules.
Health-care workers in Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar went on a one-day strike, bringing chaos for many patients at local hospitals. Doctors, paramedics and nurses agreed to strike after the provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa announced reforms to the health-care system.
Pakistan International Airlines canceled all domestic and international flights, as the national carrier’s employees continued their strike for a second day. Workers held a sit-in protest against the government's planned privatization of the airline. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
In Tajikistan, medical professionals warn that marriages between close relatives are a common cause of birth defects. To reduce future cases of congenital disabilities, Tajik lawmakers have approved a new requirement for couples planning to marry -- a genetic test.
Anatol Matasaru is a civil rights activist who was charged with hooliganism for an unconventional protest outside of Moldova’s National Anticorruption Center.
At least two workers of Pakistan International Airlines were killed and several others wounded after security forces allegedly opened fire on protesting employees of the national carrier at Karachi airport. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
U.S. Senator Bob Corker has voiced concern over the prospects for a Syria peace deal emerging from talks in Geneva. Speaking to Voice of America's Michael Bowman, he said hopes for peace were complicated by the fact that President Bashar al-Assad had been strengthened by Russia's intervention.
U.S. Senator Bob Corker has said there is a lack of international resolve to ensure Iran sticks to the deal on its nuclear program. Speaking to Voice of America's Michael Bowman, he said Iran had violated UN resolutions relating to ballistic missile testing but there had been no "pushback."
U.S. Senator Bob Corker has said that revelations of Russian President Vladimir Putin's huge personal wealth are destabilizing for Russia. Speaking to Voice of America's Michael Bowman, he said increasing numbers of Russians understood that Putin had amassed this wealth while in office.
Afghan football authorities are trying to arrange a meeting between a 5-year-old boy and Argentinian footballer Lionel Messi, after photos of the boy in a homemade Messi shirt went viral. He spoke exclusively to RFE/RL during a visit to the Afghan national stadium in Kabul.
Former world chess champion Anatoly Karpov took on some local enthusiasts in the southeastern Serbian village of Merosina, as part of a visit as a UNICEF goodwill ambassador. First, a quick game in the village square... (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
Afghan security forces cordoned off an area near a police station after a suspected suicide bombing in Kabul. At least nine people were killed and many others were wounded. (RFE/RL's Radio Azadi)
At last week's congress of Kazakhstan's ruling party, long-time President Nursultan Nazarbaev received praise so effusive, it was reminiscent of accolades accorded to the leader of North Korea. Here's a sampling of the tributes put together by RFE/RL's Kazakh Service.
A little boy sparked an international media hunt after a picture of him wearing a Lionel Messi jersey made out of a plastic bag went viral. We tracked down 5-year-old Murtaza Ahmadi to his home in eastern Afghanistan and paid him a visit.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has opened an exhibition featuring portraits of people who Kyiv says have been illegally detained by Russia, such as filmmaker Oleh Sentsov and pilot Nadia Savchenko. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)
Police in Kosovska Mitrovica said around 500 people took part in a demonstration after an international court found a prominent Kosovo Serb politician guilty of war crimes charges. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
Iran has spent the week showing various forms of the country's military capabilities. On January 29, Iran's state television and the Tasnim News Agency published footage which purportedly shows an Iranian naval drone tracking a U.S. aircraft carrier, after three days of major naval exercises.
Political scientist Francis Fukuyama says liberal democracies have had to restore greater regulation of capital markets.
Political scientist Francis Fukuyama predicts the Islamic State (IS) extremist group will fail to establish a viable state.
Political scientist Francis Fukuyama says the energy-dependent economic model established by Russian President Vladimir Putin is 'falling apart'.
Schoolchildren in Russia's Ural region are being fed propaganda in their classrooms. The lessons include a discredited tale about gruesome atrocities carried out by the Ukrainian Army.
A pro-Kremlin art group called Glavplakat this week hung a huge banner of Barack Obama opposite the U.S. Embassy in Moscow with the slogan "Killer" -- a protest against U.S. military involvement in Syria.
Just a wild sheep playing soccer. (And he saved the life of his female goat friend, too.) (RFE/RL's Kazakh Service)
Montenegro's Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic has survived a confidence vote over his country's invitation to join NATO. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
She is a teacher bringing education to some of Pakistan's most vulnerable children. Thousands of kids live in the slums of the country's capital, Islamabad, without any access to education. But one woman, Chand Bibi, is on a courageous mission to change that. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
Serbian photojournalists destroyed their own prints in protest against government proposals to remove copyright protection from their work. Critics say it's an attack on media freedom. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
Shahid Afridi, the captain of Pakistan's Twenty20 cricket team, visited the school where 144 people were killed in a Taliban attack in 2014. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
Supporters of Armenian opposition activist Gevorg Safarian protested in Yerevan after an appeals court ruled he must remain in pretrial detention for two months. He was arrested with four others on New Year's Eve as they tried to place a Christmas tree in Yerevan's Liberty Square. (RFE/RL's Armenian
Isolated and without water or gas, 80-year-old Antonina Prokofyevna has found an unusual companion to stave off loneliness amid the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
A protest erupted in a courtroom in Minsk, as three graffiti artists went on trial for painting political slogans on buildings. A supporter in the court shouted “No to political repression", "Art is not a crime”, and "This is not a trial, but a circus!" (RFE/RL's Belarus Service)
In Afghanistan, impoverished boys are being forced into a life of abuse as a result of bacha bazi -- dancing boys -- an old practice that sees wealthy or powerful men exploit underage boys as sexual partners.
Market traders are starting to repair their damaged shops in Bara, Pakistan, seven years after many were destroyed in clashes with Islamic militants. Government officials said that the Bara Bazaar near Peshawar can reopen on February 1. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has made a number of threatening statements against liberal politicians, activists, and journalists in Russia.
RFE/RL's Russian Service reporter Svyatoslav Leontev asked Muscovites what they think of Kadyrov.
Heavy security surrounded the reopening of Pakistan's Bacha Khan University, nearly a week after a deadly attack there by militants. The campus in the northwestern district of Charsadda, near Peshawar, was closed after 21 students and staff were killed on January 20. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
Police carried Vardges Gaspari to a court house in Yerevan to face trial for insulting a police officer. Gaspari is a veteran activist who regularly lies down to protest against government policy, or in this case, the criminal justice system. (RFE/RL's Armenia Service)
When called upon, a huge number of people turned up in Grozny on January 22 to show their support for Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov. The demonstration came after Kadyrov and his allies made a string of hostile statements against liberal politicians, activists, and journalists in Russia that were met
Difficult conditions are getting even worse at the refugee reception center in the southern Serbian town of Presevo due to the onset of cold winter weather.(RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
Imprisoned RFE/RL contributor Khadija Islayilova has accepted prominent human rights lawyer Amal Clooney as her legal representative. In a statement she praised Clooney's "courage" in the case of a jailed Egyptian journalist in 2014.
A British public inquiry has concluded President Vladimir Putin “probably” approved the poisoning death of Kremlin critic Aleksandr Litvinenko in 2006.
A decade-and-a-half after the end of Taliban rule, women in Afghanistan still face pressure to dress conservatively in their Muslim-dominated society. And that makes holding a fashion show with female models a risky endeavor.
Olga Lyekhtona wages a tireless campaign to maintain a makeshift shrine on the bridge in central Moscow where opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was killed in February 2015. City authorities have rejected plans for an official monument on the spot.
Militants launched an assault on a university campus in northwestern Pakistan, killing at least 20 people, including students and staff. The aftermath inside the school showed the extent of the extent of the attack's devastation. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal and VOA)
Imprisoned RFE/RL contributor Khadija Ismayilova is considering an offer of legal representation by human rights lawyer Amal Clooney. The wife of Hollywood star George Clooney previously has taken on prominent cases in Egypt, Armenia and the Maldives.
A student caught up in the carnage, and an emergency rescue worker aiding the victims, spoke to RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal about the attacks on the Bacha Khan University in Northwestern Pakistan on January 20. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
Mortgage holders held a protest outside of major banks in the Kazakh city of Almaty. They called for a recalculation of their loans, amid the recent economic crisis. (RFE/RL's Kazakh Service)
Human rights campaigners in Afghanistan are demanding justice for 20-year-old Reza Gul. After her husband beat her, he cut off her nose. (RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan)
A Kyrgyz police officer has produced a video, which he is showing to teenagers in schools, as part of efforts to fight recruitment by Islamic State militants. Colonel Zhanibek Isayev mined the internet for shocking images from Syria, which sometimes move the children to tears.
The two-level Bab-e-Peshawar (Door To Peshawar) Bridge opened on January 18 in northwestern Pakistan. It cost 1.7 billion Pakistani rupees ($16 million) to build and was completed in record time. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
Four-nation talks aimed at establishing a peace process with the Taliban in Afghanistan have begun, with the Afghan and Pakistani foreign ministers, along with diplomats and military officials from the United States and China, meeting in Kabul. (Radio Free Afghanistan)
Azerbaijan deployed security forces in the northeastern district of Quba on January 15, amid national unrest over worsening economic conditions. Camera phone video shows security forces moving against the protesters. (RFE/RL's Radio Azerbaijani Service/UGC video)
Winter on Fire, a documentary about Ukraine's 2013-14 upheaval that ousted President Viktor Yanukovych, has been nominated for this year's Oscars. The film tells the story of the "Maidan" protests through the eyes of a 12-year-old boy and other participants.
Southern Kyrgyzstan is dotted with small coal mines that operate without official permission or regulation. These illegal mines pay their workers an above-average wage -- at the cost of risking life and limb. (Jibek Begalieva, RFE/RL's Current Time TV)
Artisans showed off their works in the Pakistani northwestern city of Peshawar. The three-day cultural and handicrafts exhibition included a live demonstration of pottery making. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
A district court in Bishkek ruled that a decision by Kyrgyzstan's Central Election Commission to strip two members of parliament of their mandates was illegal. Elmira Jumalieva and Cholpon Esenamanova's mandates were canceled by the commission on January 11. (RFE/RL's Kyrgyzstan Service)
An eclectic array of fancy dress costumes and masks were on display, as Ukrainians celebrated New Year according to the Julian calendar in the Bukovyna region, bordering Romania. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)
Some Ukrainian refugees will have to leave Russia by February 1, under new rules imposed last autumn. It's not clear how many people need to pack their bags.
People on the streets of Azerbaijan's capital, Baku, have reacted to nationwide protests which erupted following the collapse of the country's currency, the manat.
Students from around the world are preparing to compete in the Shell Eco Marathon, the energy company's annual fuel efficiency contest. For those from Pakistan's Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute, it's a long road to their competition in Manila. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
U.S. citizens adopted tens of thousands of children from Russian orphanages after the Soviet collapse. But in 2012, Moscow banned Americans from adopting Russian kids with a law passed in retaliation for economic sanctions. What impact has the ban had on children in need of homes?
A local politician in Karachi has launched an unorthodox campaign to rid the Pakistani city from a plague of potholes. Alamgir Khan has taken to spray-painting the image of the provincial leader's face on the city's treacherous roads, demanding that the government fix them. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
Protesters for and against the naming of controversial businessman Vlad Plahotniuc as the next prime minister faced off in the capital Chisinau. Later in the day President Nicolae Timofti refused to name Plahotnuic, saying he did not meet his criteria for integrity. (RFE/RL's Moldovan Service)
Security forces moved in to deal with protests across Azerbaijan, following the collapse of the country's currency, the manat -- which has lost 40 percent of its value against the U.S. dollar in recent days. (RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service)
Protesters for and against the naming of controversial oligarch Vlad Plahotniuc as the next prime minister of Moldova faced off in the capital Chisinau. (RFE/RL's Moldovan Service)
Seven members of Afghan national security forces were killed along with three Islamic militants in an attack on a government guest house in the eastern city of Jalalabad. (RFE/RL Radio Free Afghanistan)
At least 14 people were killed in a blast that appeared to target police outside a polio vaccination center in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta. Officials at the scene said that 13 of the dead were police officers. Taliban militants claimed responsibility. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
The flow of migrants across the Balkans continued, with around a thousand people crossing from Greece to Macedonia on January 12. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
Blizzards and high winds caused power cuts and traffic jams in Belarus, with the heaviest snowfall reported in the capital, Minsk. (RFE/RL's Belarus Service)
Miners blocked a main road in western Ukraine in protest at unpaid salaries. The men said they were owed money from the November and December pay packets. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)
In an interview with the German magazine Bild, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that in spite of falling oil prices and Western sanctions, the Russian economy is showing signs of improvement. But some Moscow residents say they have yet to see any positive change. (RFE/RL's Russian Service)
The Soviet crackdown following Lithuania's declaration of independence culminated on January 13, 1991. Lithuanian leader Vytautas Landsbergis discussed the historical turning point and new regional threats in our special interview series with 12 post-Soviet leaders, "Russia & Me."
Altai, a Russian bear, just met Gul, a Tajik bear, at a zoo in the Czech Republic. Now the duo can’t be apart.
This year, Pakistan will enter a global contest for building fuel efficient cars. For students from a northwest institute, there is still a long road ahead to overtake the favorites. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
A typical evening's shopping at Bishkek's Frunze supermarket in early December suddenly turned into a cultural event with the appearance of an opera flash mob. People who seemed to be average shoppers and store employees suddenly burst into song, regaling store patrons with a piece from Verdi's oper
The village of Zaytseve, near Horlivka in eastern Ukraine, is split down the middle by checkpoints and armed forces. Some children are separated from their school by the front lines, so they study and play at home, confined by the conditions of war.
A shocking video which appears to show plainclothes policemen beating up a transvestite has gone viral in Uzbekistan. But the public response has only highlighted homophobic attitudes in Uzbek society. (UGC)
Orthodox Christians enjoyed Christmas celebrations around the world on January 6. From Bosnia to Tatarstan, they marked the holiday in different and colorful ways. (RFE/RL Balkan, Gerogian and Tatar-Bashkir Services)
A video that apparently shows plainclothes policemen beating up a transvestite has gone viral in Uzbekistan. But the response to the video points to widespread intolerance in Uzbek society: instead of outrage, most comments on the video are in support of the violence.
Hundreds of former government employees marched on the Afghan parliament in Kabul to demand their jobs back. They were laid off when the country's electronic voter ID card scheme was suspended. (RFE/RL'S Radio Free Afghanistan)
In an interview with RFE/RL's Balkan Service in Belgrade, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said that Serbia is working to maintain good relations with Russia while it moves toward its goal of European integration.
In an interview with RFE/RL's Balkan Service in Belgrade, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic discussed the normalization of relations with Kosovo, saying that Serbia is bracing itself for crucial but difficult talks.
A controversial plan to demolish a historic minaret in the Uzbek city of Andijon has been canceled.
A video of Bakitbek Sakiev hanging on to the hood of a speeding car earned him the nickname Spiderman. But this Kyrgyz policeman is known for more than his death-defying stunts. He's also regarded as an incorruptible officer in a country where police corruption is widespread.
A winter snowfall hampered residents of Sarajevo going about their business, and a lingering smog had many gasping for air. Fog mixed with pollution hit the Bosnian capital again on January 5, forcing many people back indoors. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)
Video released by activists in Armenia show police forcefully stopping them from placing a Christmas tree on Yerevan's Liberty Square on New Year's Eve. One of the activists of the New Armenia Public Salvation Front, Gevorg Safaryan, was charged with resisting arrest.
Shi'ite groups in Pakistan added their voices to protests around the world against Saudi Arabia's execution of a prominent Shi'ite cleric, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. Hundreds of protesters gathered in Karachi and chanted death to the Saudi royal family. (RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
Putin In A Bottle: Russian President inspires a new fragrance.
Afghan troops and Indian security forces fought gunmen near the Indian Consulate in the northern city of Mazar-e Sharif. At least two militants barricaded themselves inside a residential building near the consulate on January 4, a day after the fighting began. (RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan)
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